Obituary: Joseph ‘Joe’ Philip Cleary

Joseph ‘Joe’ Philip Cleary

Longtime Malibu business owner Joseph “Joe” Cleary died two days after his 94th birthday on March 10. 

Cleary was born in Los Angeles on March 8, 1921. He graduated from Loyola High School, class of 1939. Soon after, Cleary enrolled in the California Maritime Academy in Vallejo, Calif.

During WWII, Cleary commanded several Liberty class ships. After his time at sea, he and his new bride, Mary Ann DeCoursey, settled in Santa Monica/Pacific Palisades and starting raising their two sons, Tim and Philip.

Cleary worked in the lumber and hardware business in Santa Monica and Malibu. He and his longtime partner sold the business after 30 years.

After 43 years of marriage, Mary Ann passed away. Cleary later married Barbara Brethauer of Oakland, Calif. and the two resided in Palm Desert. They were married 25 years, which were spent traveling, visiting their kids and grandkids, and golfing. Barbara passed away in 2013.

Joe is survived by his son Tim and wife Barbara and their children, Julie Frago and Todd Borman. He is also survived by his son Philip and wife Kimberly and their kids Joe, Shea, Conway and Mary Ann.

“Joe will be dearly missed by all who knew him,” a loved one shared.

Services will take place at Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery in Culver City at 12:30 p.m. on Friday, March 20. In lieu of flowers or donations, please perform a random act of kindness for a deserving individual and mention the act is in memory of “God Ol’ Joe Cleary.”